BOSTON (AP) — Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer, J.D. Martinez added a two-run shot and the Boston Red Sox avoided their first series sweep this season with a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
The win also prevented Boston from matching its season-high losing streak of three games.
Chris Sale (4-1) gave up just two runs and two hits in five innings, striking out nine and walking four — his most base on balls since also allowing four on August 31, 2016.
Craig Kimbrel, the fourth reliever, got the final three outs for his 12th save.
Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer, and Matt Joyce and Matt Olson each hit a solo shot for the Athletics, who won the first two games and finished the season series by winning four of six.
Trevor Cahill (1-2) gave up three runs to the first four batters he faced, but held the Red Sox scoreless the rest his five innings.
Coming off a career-tying 15-strikeout performance over nine innings in his previous start, Sale struggled with his command on a chilly, misty evening and was lifted after 102 pitches.
Martinez’s homer into the center-field seats highlighted a three-run first. Hanley Ramirez had a run-scoring grounder before Martinez’s drive into the first section of the bleachers to the right of the Green Monster.
Bogaerts’ homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster and made it 6-2 in the sixth.
Semien’s drive also left Fenway over the Monster.
Athletics: Cahill (right shoulder impingement) was reinstated from the 10-day DL before the game and outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. “When you don’t play for an extended period-of-time, get some at-bats, you don’t feel comfortable,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (recovering from offseason left knee surgery) is expected to resume his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. With the PawSox rained out Tuesday and a morning game Wednesday, Pedroia was in Boston. Manager Alex Cora said they’d find somewhere for him to play if expected rain comes this weekend. “He needs his repetitions,” Cora said. “We’ll find innings.”
Cahill hasn’t picked up a win on the road — start or relief — since a victory at Colorado on August 20, 2016, a span of 24 games.
WHAT A CATCH
A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a running catch before tumbling headfirst over a short wall down the line. The play was overturned after replay review.
Boston third baseman Rafael Devers played in his 100th major league game before his 22nd birthday, only one of three Red Sox players to do that in the last 50 years. The others are: Bogaerts and former right fielder Dwight Evans.
Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a four-game series on Thursday in Toronto.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (3-4, 4.89) is line to pitch Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against Baltimore. The game is a makeup from the Patriots’ Day rainout.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)